dunkirk (christopher nolan, 2017)

music friday: 1973

Stevie Wonder, "Living for the City". The single version was dark enough; the album version takes the hero to New York ("New York, just like I pictured it, skyscrapers and everything!"), where he almost instantly gets thrown in prison.

Iggy and The Stooges, "Search and Destroy". Originally mixed by Bowie ... Iggy did a remix that purposely sounded even more distorted. The YouTube link is to the Iggy version.

Ann Peebles, "I Can't Stand the Rain". Peebles working the Hi Records sound.

Pink Floyd, "Us and Them". Antonioni said it was too sad.

Bob Marley and The Wailers, "Get Up, Stand Up". Marley and Peter Tosh wrote it. The Wailers recorded it ... Marley and the Wailers recorded it ... Tosh recorded it ... Bunny Wailer recorded it.

Gladys Knight and The Pips, "Midnight Train to Georgia". Songwriter Jim Weatherly says this song was inspired by Farrah Fawcett.

Aerosmith, "Dream On". Rolling Stone writer in 1976, regarding Steven Tyler: "He's the mutant bastard offspring of Jagger and Iggy Stooge." Aerosmith manager's reply: "Only he's better than both of them."

Roberta Flack, "Killing Me Softly with His Song". Since I'm quoting old rock critics, here's Christgau's complete review of Flack's Killing Me Softly album: "Q: Why is Roberta Flack like Jesse Colin Young? A: Because she always makes you wonder whether she's going to fall asleep before you do. C"

Paul McCartney and Wings, "Band on the Run". Paul remains the only Beatle I've seen live. The video is from the same tour we saw him on.

The Rolling Stones, "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)". Goats Head Soup was the end of the great Stones run, but this song stands with those great ones. From Billy Preston's clavinet to the horns to the "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo" chorus, everything about the song embodies the catchiest pop music. The lyrics tell a different story, taking us back to Stevie Wonder's New York City:

The po-lice in New York City
They chased a boy right through the park
And in a case of mistaken identity
They put a bullet through his heart
Heartbreakers with your forty four
I want to tear your world apart
You heartbreaker with your forty four
I want to tear your world apart
A ten year old girl on a street corner
Sticking needles in her arm
She died in the dirt of an alleyway
Her mother said she had no chance, no chance!
Heartbreaker, heartbreaker
She stuck the pins right in her heart
Heartbreaker, pain maker
Stole the love right out of your heart
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Want to tear your world apart
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Want to tear your world apart



A favorite Stevie Wonder song (I use it in a class) from my favorite Stevie Wonder album.

On another note, when I studied abroad in England typical bar conversation often involved music. The late teen/early twenties boys I drank with in 1992 insisted "Dark Side of the Moon" was the greatest album of all time. I wasn't particularly a rabid Floyd fan, I like them enough but they meant little to me. I couldn't understand them then. Or now I guess.

Steven Rubio

How do you use the Stevie Wonder song?

We had a couple of early Pink Floyd albums ... I played the heck out of Ummagumma ... but I can't say I saw them as special. Then came Dark Side, and like you say, people acted like it was the greatest, which seemed weird to me. I was much more taken with the follow-up, Wish You Were Here, which had "Have a Cigar", which closes out with one of my favorite guitar solos of all time.


I teach a class about post-WWII race movements ( and I play a song before every class. The goal is to put them in the times but also to draw attention to some lesson, theme, event, etc. I use this song to before a lecture on class, race, and riots to talk about class/race and how these movements propelled black mainstream arts to become increasingly analytical in the ways they talked about the "black experience."

Steven Rubio

I would take that class.

Steven Rubio

My son had a good idea. Not sure this will work, but here is a Spotify Playlist for this week's selections:

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